Hello from newbie

topcat Member Posts: 8
edited 14. Apr 2014, 11:40 in Say Hello Archive
Hello everyone.
I was not sure if I should be joining this forum but a consultant rheumatologist has prescibed hydroxychloroquine for me to see if it assists in dealing with symptoms of:
-joint stiffness in both hands wrists knees neck
-sometimes stiffness in both feet and occasionally thumbs (which I find especially uncomfortable).
There is still no firm diagnosis for RA (blood tests not being conclusive and I apparently have OA in some joints anyway, she says) but I did respond positively to a general steroid injection so there probably is "some form of inflammatory illness there".
Hopefully, I will learn more by reading the posts from the members here.
Anyway,good luck to you all.
Topcat :)


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,298
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello topcat. Of course you should join. You're very welcome :) The more posts you read the more you will realise that firm diagnoses are not always forthcoming. Auto-immune forms of arthritis are wily little beasts and not all can be readily identified by the tests.

    For what it's worth, I think you've probably got yourself a good rheumatologist who is looking at the broader picture and ensuring the best course for you. If you do have an autoimmune form of arthritis the hydroxychloroquine will, hopefully, help. In the unlikely event that you don't, it's the mildest of the DMARDS. I take it myself along with methotrexate.

    Please join in wherever you wish. We don't bite :D
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi from me, Topcat:

    I agree it sounds like you have a good rheumatologist, ie one willing to offer treatment based on response to steroids. That doesn't always happen.

    I have an inflammatory type of arthritis too. It has helped me greatly having found the forum and others similarly afflicted to chat with (and I've learned a lot also).

    Best wishes and I hope the hydroxy works for you.
  • topcat
    topcat Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Stickywicket & Boomer.
    We'll see what the next 3 months brings regarding the hydroxy.
    On a more immediate level,I will have to address exercise as at my age (58) I feel I should do something and will try and resume the cable exercises that seemed so promising a few months ago but which I've been perhaps too tired lately to resume.
    Running is out for me now due to the aching knees.
    Maybe at my age I should slow down more and think laterally:yoga perhaps?
    It's interesting what you both say about my rheumatologist since it's taken me 18 months to get to this point and 3 visits to my GP to have a referral made (not diabetes,not thyroid - try vitamin D supplements!).
    Still, it's a start and I'll see what happens.
    Thanks again for your time and helpful comments.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,298
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'd not heard of cable exercises. I've just looked them up and they seem...er...very energetic :lol: Exercise is good as it helps to keep the muscles strong. Strong muscles support the joints better and supported joints don't hurt as much. However, it's a matter of getting the balance right. Doubly difficult for you when you don't have a clear cut diagnosis but maybe listen to your body and don't overdo things.

    Yes running is not good for dodgy knees though swimming and cycling are as the joints are supported. Basically, heavy impact is not advised but anything that will build up strength without inflicting more damage is good. If you've been used to an athletic, sporty lifestyle it will be harder to adapt mentally but well worth the effort. You might find some useful suggestions in the Exercise booklet here: http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbysubject

    Good luck and keep us updated.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello topcat and welcome form me,its lovely to have you on board
    I do hope you get some answers very soon this arthritis is very complex..has you are finding out :roll:
    You do need to keep moving but strenuous exercise is not recommended..any gentle exercise is good swimming is excellent but this is something |I cant do with bad hips..
    I do hope you stay with us and look forward to seeing you around the forum :)